Well this is a sure sign that the year is well and truly underway. Dr Amy and Senior Assistant, Nikita, are heading off for an overseas getaway together with friends and family, and counting down the weeks. It really doesn't seem like too long until Easter now, now that February is coasting by.
Here at work, we are checking in on all of our patients, and as usual making sure that their smiles are healthy and looking their best. Dr Amy and I had the privilege of caring for 3500 patients last year.
MOUTHGUARD season is almost here, and it is timely to mention that professional mouthguards can prevent tooth fractures, loss of teeth and even fractures of the jaw, due to their superior support and shock absorption. Professional mouthguards are custom made in most colour combinations, and take around a week to make in the laboratory. We can even make them to fit around braces, and relieve areas where adult teeth are coming through to have the mouthguard last for a longer period of time. Just make sure yours doesn't end up in the dryer, in a rubgy short pocket, like my son's seemed to.
All contact sports, where there is any chance of trauma to the teeth or face, are best played with a professional mouthguard. They are comfortable, longer lasting, don't look like chewed up pieces of plastic, fit correctly, and don't fall out. Chemist, one size fits all mouthguards might be cheap at the outset, but sometimes not in the longer run, being that their main function is to 'have a mouthguard'. They seem to be mainly for show, with no functional capacity to protect teeth, being that they don't even cover the teeth and seems to float around in mouths, and come out looking like a chewed up film of plastic.
One case that really highlighted this was a professional rugby player in his 20's who needed both front teeth removed, a bone and gum graft for a year, and had to wear a denture for all this time. Then two implants were placed, with a new denture for 6 months, and finally I placed two implant crowns. This cost tens of thousands of dollars, not to mention the time and distress for the patient and his family. A professional mouthguard costs around $200. In the long run, they can save injuries to the teeth from impacts that may have dislodged them if not for the correct protection.
It is timely to discuss how oranges, SPORTS DRINKS, soft drinks and energy drinks when playing sport, do little more than wreak havoc on the teeth, causing catastrophic and irreversible damage in lots of our young patients, especially teenagers, young adults and professional athletes, known as TOOTH EROSION. If possible, please hydrate with water, because these drinks seem to be laden with sugar in some form, and are acidic, and even those that are sugar free are acidic, which ultimately softens the teeth. The way we see it strip off the enamel - the hardest substance in the body - has to be seen to be believed. The enamel never grows back, and then it places a young person in a position, where their teeth are forever vulnerable to ongoing damage and sensitivity.
At the moment, I have a gentleman who is having every single tooth restored with ceramic, to build up all the missing tooth structure that has been lost and damaged, which of course takes an immense amount of time, team work, and with computer aided design we can make everything like new, except that it doesn't always last a lifetime. By far, our preference is to have no initial damage to begin with and ongoingly, so diligent home care, a healthy diet and dental checks each 6 months are an important thing to do for a lifetime of healthy teeth.
We look forward to catching up with all our patients and friends and wish everyone the best! Please call our patient co ordinator Sonia, if the time has come to see to your SMILE and it will be our pleasure to assist. Remember that we have a no blame approach. If there's a problem, we fix it. There is no judgement here, our jobs are to help, manage and care for your dental health from the moment we meet you throughout life. We will take every measure we can possibly can to ensure that you are comfortable.
SUMMER has been going on for what seems forever, so hopefully the weather will calm down in Brisbane sometime soon, but in the meantime, we have powerfully air conditioned rooms, as well as those beautiful views over the Brisbane River. We have yet to have a final date from council regarding the resumption of our dental premises to widen Lytton Road, so hopefully we never hear from them, and can stay here forever!
With the best of regards
Leila Haywood / dentist / brisbane smile boutique